Inside the Ark of the Covenant
In today’s posting we present information pertaining to the objects found inside the Ark of the Covenant. This information will be used latter as supporting material that proclaims Jesus to be our Ark of the New Covenant, the manifestation of the Most Holy Place and our passage way to both.
The Ark of the Covenant
The Ark of the Covenant symbolizes the Divine Presence of God and for this reason it is the most sacred of all the objects found in the Tabernacle. Fundamentally, the Ark is a box made of wood and is covered in gold. It is approximately 5 feet long, three feet wide and three feet high. The Ark has a lid covering it and it is also covered in gold. The Ark has four golden rings, one placed near each corner. Two poles made of gold covered wood can be placed into the rings on each side of the Ark. They enabled the Ark to be transported from place to place.
Three items were stored inside the Ark. They are the covenant stones, a pot of manna, and the rod of Aaron.
The Covenant Stones
First of all, the Ark contained the Covenant Stones which served as a continual reminder of the covenant between God and Israel. The Covenant Stones were engraved with the Ten Commandments[i] given by God.
These commandments served as the foundation of God’s covenant with Israel. If the people obeyed God’s commandments then He promised to give them life and prosperity in the Promised Land, which is the land of Canaan, a land flowing with milk and honey:
That you may fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the LORD God of your fathers has promised you; ‘a land flowing with milk and honey.’ (Deuteronomy 6:2-3)
‘And it shall be that if you earnestly obey My commandments which I command you today, to love the LORD your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, ‘then I will give you the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil. And I will send grass in your fields for your livestock, that you may eat and be filled. ‘(Deuteronomy 11:13-15)
For if you carefully keep all these commandments which I command you to do; to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, and to hold fast to Him; then the LORD will drive out all these nations from before you, and you will dispossess greater and mightier nations than yourselves. Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the River Euphrates, even to the Western Sea, shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand against you; the LORD your God will put the dread of you and the fear of you upon all the land where you tread, just as He has said to you. (Deuteronomy 11:22-25)
A second item found inside the Ark is the Pot of Manna. It represented the bread of God that came down from heaven and fed the nation of Israel as they wondered through the desert:
I have heard the complaints of the children of Israel. Speak to them, saying, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. And you shall know that I am the LORD your God.’ So it was that quails came up at evening and covered the camp, and in the morning the dew lay all around the camp. And when the layer of dew lifted, there, on the surface of the wilderness, was a small round substance, as fine as frost on the ground. So when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “This is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat.” (Exodus 16:12-16)
The third item found in the Ark was Aaron’s rod and it testified to God’s choice of Aaron as the royal priest. The following passages communicate that Aaron was challenged for the right to be the high priest by members of the community. God’s choice was communicated in a miraculous way:
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to the children of Israel, and get from them a rod from each father’s house, all their leaders according to their fathers’ houses; twelve rods. Write each man’s name on his rod. And you shall write Aaron’s name on the rod of Levi. For there shall be one rod for the head of each father’s house. Then you shall place them in the tabernacle of meeting before the Testimony, where I meet with you. And it shall be that the rod of the man whom I choose will blossom; thus I will rid Myself of the complaints of the children of Israel, which they make against you. So Moses spoke to the children of Israel, and each of their leaders gave him a rod apiece, for each leader according to their fathers’ houses, twelve rods; and the rod of Aaron was among their rods. And Moses placed the rods before the LORD in the tabernacle of witness. Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses went into the tabernacle of witness, and behold, the rod of Aaron, of the house of Levi, had sprouted and put forth buds, had produced blossoms and yielded ripe almonds. Then Moses brought out all the rods from before the LORD to all the children of Israel; and they looked, and each man took his rod. And the LORD said to Moses, “Bring Aaron’s rod back before the Testimony, to be kept as a sign against the rebels, that you may put their complaints away from Me, lest they die.” (Numbers 17:1-10)
Therefore, God performed a great miracle in selecting the Rod of Aaron for the priesthood. A rod, which was a carved piece of wood, came to life, blossomed and bore fruit. So significant was this event that the rod was stored in the Ark as a testimony against those who would not believe.
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